Do you know what’s happening in Ukraine? The media lies

Cartoon: Carlos Latuff

The first casualty of war is truth.

To that could be added: Propaganda is the first weapon used in war.

The U.S. military-industrial-media complex is working overtime on Ukraine.

Unreported or hidden by the U.S. media, for example, is the fact that civilian casualties in Ukraine are relatively few. The Ukrainian health ministry, after the first week of the Russian “demilitarization and denazification” operation, put the number of civilian deaths at around 200. 

Five days later, as this is being written, the number is now in the range of 300 to 400, according to Michael Brenner, professor of International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.

By contrast, when the U.S. launched George Bush’s “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq in 2003, some 7,186 Iraqi civilians were killed in the first weeks of the murderous assault.

Professor Brenner says of Ukraine today: “Russian forces are calculatingly avoiding attacks on urban centers … Moscow has no interest in subjugating the country to its rule. 

“In comparison, the Ukrainian army has been shelling the city centers of Lugansk and Donetsk, producing casualties estimated by a UN agency at more than 1,300 (3 or 4 times what objective observers estimate on the Ukrainian government’s side of the battle lines). Also, the [Lugansk and Donetsk] water system has been destroyed [by Ukraine forces]. Yet, these facts are unreported and unnoticed.”

On March 2, President Biden was asked whether Russian forces are deliberately targeting civilian areas in Ukraine. Biden answered, “It’s clear they are.” Brenner notes that this was an outright lie, picked up and transmitted by the U.S. media without comment.

Readers and viewers of the U.S. media are being fed propaganda that’s meant to whip up an anti-Russia, anti-Putin war frenzy. Like all U.S. war propaganda, there is an underlying white supremacist theme.

“White supremacy is at the heart of U.S. war propaganda,” says Margaret Kimberley, executive editor of Black Agenda Report. “The exhortation to ‘stand with Ukraine’ is no exception to this rule.”

This also means there is no understanding of what is happening, including the actual events now taking place in Ukraine.

Putin is not crazy, Russia is not failing

The British Daily Mail warned in a headline: “Putin is NOT crazy and the Russian invasion is NOT failing.”

Patrick Armstrong, a former analyst in the Canadian Department of National Defense who was in the Canadian Embassy in Moscow in 1993-1996, wrote on March 4: “So far the Russian military operation in Ukraine has been a reconnaissance in force preceded by the destruction of the supplies and headquarters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces …

“At the moment they are readying for the next phase. The long column that so obsessed the ‘experts’ on CNN is the preparation for the next phase. …

“As far as I can see they’ve created three cauldrons (encirclements). Probably the most important one is the one around Mariupol where the main concentration of Azov, the principal nazi force, is. 

“Another is being established around the main concentration of the Ukrainian Armed Forces facing [the Lugansk People’s Republic]. And there appears to be another developing to the east of Kiev. A super cauldron of all three is visible. The nazis will be exterminated; the ordinary Ukrainian soldiers will be allowed to go home. …

“The dilemma for the Russians is city fighting. They do not want to have a Raqqa [Syria] in which every building is destroyed, every person killed and [desolation] is declared to be [peace]. They know that at the end of the day there will still be Ukrainians and they will want them to be friends: Washington can create solitudes [ruins] far away, but Moscow cannot create them nearby.

“This greatly complicates their problem when they try to clear the nazis out of Mariupol, knowing that the nazis are using the city’s people as hostages. The same problem exists, to a lesser degree, in the other cities of [Ukrainian-occupied Donbass and eastern Ukraine]. My guess is they will surround most cities and hope that Zelinsky & Co. come to their senses. But I fear that the Mariupol battle will be horrible.

“I would expect large-scale surrenders of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to begin in the next 24/48 hours (Chechen forces already claim one and have an impressive collection of ‘trophies’ to prove it). A significant proportion of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is now surrounded and, as is usual (see Sun Tsu’s ‘The Art of War’) the Russians have left them an exit.

“As to Western sanctions against Russia, I think there’s a very simple answer to that: last week 1,000 cubic meters of gas cost $1,000; today it’s over twice that. Next week it certainly won’t be cheaper. Ditto for aluminum, potash, titanium, wheat. …

“What the people in the West do not understand is the ruble is the currency the Russians use inside the country but the price of oil and gas is the Russian currency outside the country. I am astounded at the stupidity: [the U.S. and NATO] are cutting their own throats and destroying their own economies.”

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